Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back in the saddle and ready to ride

Easter is a big holiday here. I'd go so far as to say it's the Aussie equivalent of Thanksgiving. Both Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays, so many people travel for the four day weekend to visit family. It makes my last weekend in Cairns bittersweet since many people are away.

I've gone through my weekend rituals one last time. Saturdays start with a ride, then a quick shower and stretch and heading off to Perrotta's for coffee and eggs before I get too faint. After I've read the Cairns Post front to back (and perhaps had a second coffee), I head over to Rusty's farmer's market. I always go to this one stall first that sells organic tomatoes grown on the tablelands. They always have a few tomatoes sliced up and salted to try, and they are irresistible. Any other veg that I need, that's looking good, I get from this stall, otherwise I'll check out other vendors on my way through. And I follow the rule, if there's a mangostin, I'll buy it. Then a quick stop at the supermarket for things not available at the markets and home for a nap.

I've ridden 120K this weekend on Keri's old bike. I didn't know this, but apparently, there are different types of clip-in pedals for road bikes. (Why? So you have to stick with your brand, of course.) Keri's bike has the other kind of pedals to mine, and since it's Easter, I can't get the pedals swapped out with my pedals til Tuesday. I rode in running shoes. My race is in a week, and after this weekend's training, I'm feeling ready. I ran about 5K after my 40K ride this morning and felt good. This is gonna be a great race!

I'm still not very good at determining when I have a tail wind (there's always air rushing by my ears, so it must be a head wind, right?) But I know the route I take pretty well along the Northern Highway, and this morning I was flying on my way North, which meant I was gonna have a wicked head wind on the way back. And man, I was in struggletown. But then I remembered, this is what the wind was like when I first got the Cairns, in the dry. Always a solid wind coming from the South. Perhaps the wet is over.

It turned out to be a gorgeous day, so I took a walk out to the Esplanade for some ice cream and reading. The lagoon pool was teaming with people: families at the BBQs, kids in the pool, couples sunning themselves on the lawn, a few brave tourists playing on the mudflats. Sitting there it reminded me of my first day in Cairns, wandering about the city on a Sunday afternoon, wondering where every one was. Then, finally, happening upon the Esplanade and seeing every one enjoying the afternoon. I will miss this place when I'm gone.


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